Bloomberg released its rankings of the values of Major League Baseball teams today, with the Marlins coming in 25th place out of 30 teams. The sad sacks finishing behind the Marlins were the Athletics, Rockies, Indians, Royals, and Rays. Bloomberg has the team’s value 24th overall, worth $484 million, while the total value, including regional sports networks, related businesses, and money from MLB Advanced Media, was $595 million. Ten tops have a value of over $1 billion, while four teams – the Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Yankees – are worth over $2 billion. The Yankees were the only team valued at over $3 billion.
There are some very interesting quirks about this ranking, however. Firstly, although the Marlins finished 28th in attendance with 1.6 million, they placed a respectable 14th in gate receipts with $65 million, ahead of teams such as the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Braves. Bloomberg makes special mention of the Marlins when explaining how its gate receipt info was tallied, saying “Gate receipt calculations include revenue from general and club seating as well as suites. For the Miami Marlins, it also includes parking sales, which the team packages with game tickets.” The Marlins rent 5,700 parking spaces from the city of Miami and sell them. However, the Marlins’ gate receipt ranking would still be high without the parking spaces. Even assuming that every space is sold at $20 each for all 81 home games, and that the receipt total does not deduct the $10 per space that the Marlins pay in rent, those sales would add just $9.2 million to the gate receipts for the team. Their total without them would still place them squarely ahead of the aforementioned teams.
I asked Maury Brown of the excellent Biz of Baseball website how it could be possible that the Marlins’ gate receipts were so high. Brown suggested that the Marlins may have sold more premium seats than those other teams.
Another interesting note is that the Marlins are dead last in the Majors in sponsorship dollars, tallying just $10 million. The next-worst team is the Oakland Athletics, who come in $2 million higher than the Marlins in that category. Of course, the Marlins do not have a naming rights partner for their stadium, which can bring in tremendous amounts of money for a team. For comparison, the lowly Houston Astros make an average of slightly over $6 million a year for their naming rights deal with Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid.
Bloomberg also assigns a confidence rating to each ranking, explaining that “[b]ecause calculating franchise value requires some estimation, a confidence rating also is included in each team’s profile.” The Marlins received just a 3-star rating. Three stars means that “detailed information” was obtained from bankers or people with knowledge of the franchise, and no team official would comment on the numbers. Seventy percent of the teams received a 3-star confidence rating, while none had a rating lower.